Session Chair: Kazue Sako
COSIC, an imec lab at KU Leuven
This talk will offer a perspective on the fast rise of cryptocurrencies based on proof of work, with Bitcoin as most prominent example. In about a decade, a white paper of nine pages has resulted in massive capital investments, a global ecosystem with a market capitalization of several hundreds of billions of dollars and the redefinition of the term crypto (which now means cryptocurrencies). We will briefly describe the history of electronic currencies and clarify the main principles behind Nakamoto Consensus. Next, we explain how several variants attempt to improve the complex tradeoffs between public verifiability, robustness, privacy and performance. We describe how Markov Decision processes can be used to compare in an objective way the proposed improvements in terms of chain quality, censorship resistance and robustness against selfish mining and double spending attacks. We conclude with a discussion of open problems.
Bart Preneel Bio
Bart Preneel received the Electr. Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from the KU Leuven (Belgium). He is a Full Professor at the KU Leuven where he heads the COSIC research group. He was visiting professor at five universities in Europe. He has authored more than 400 scientific publications and is inventor of 4 patents.
Bart Preneel has participated to more than 30 EU funded projects and has coordinated five of those including the EU NoE ECRYPT. He has served as panel member and chair for the European Research Council. Since 1997 he is serving on the Board of Directors of the IACR (International Association for Cryptologic Research), from 2002-2007 as vice president and from 2008-2013 as president. He is a member of the Permanent Stakeholders group of ENISA and of the Academia Europaea.
He has served on the advisory board of several companies and EU projects. He has served as program chair of 15 international conferences and he has been invited speaker at more than 90 conferences in 40 countries. In 2014 he received the RSA Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics.